With the field of fifty-two hopefuls being whittled down to one, Miss Wisconsin Laura Kaeppeler was chosen as the new Miss America during the 2012 Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night (January 14).
The 23-year-old beauty queen lit up the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino venue while garnering the dreamt about crown, with Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson and Miss New York Kaitlyn Monte placing second and third, respectively.
During the course of the rigorous competition, Miss Kaeppeler had to answer a question about whether beauty queens should declare their politics.
Of this, she told, "Miss America represents everyone, so I think the message to political candidates is that they represent everyone as well. And so in these economic times, we need to be looking forward to what America needs, and I think Miss America needs to represent all."
Being passed the title from last year's winner Teresa Scanlan, Kaeppeler also earned herself a $50,000 scholarship with the Miss America Organization paying out a total of $349,000 in prizes at the national level.